Box 9. Case Study:  Driver Safety — Peru Liquefied Natural Gas Pipeline

Box 9. Case Study:  Driver Safety — Peru Liquefied Natural Gas Pipeline 1

Peru, home to extremely challenging terrain for drivers, has the third-highest traffic mortality rate in the world (21.5 casualties per 1,000 inhabitants). 2 During the installation of a 408-kilometer liquefied natural gas pipeline, the company Peru Liquefied Natural Gas (PLNG) instituted a program to achieve driver safety.

Over the course of the project, a variety of stakeholders, including PLNG, government officials, drivers, and community members all contributed to the effort — with monthly assessment meetings, ongoing driver safety programs, community road safety workshops, reporting of concerns by both drivers and the community, and a driver incentive program that rewarded incident-free on-time delivery.

Drivers delivering pipes and equipment to the project traveled approximately 69 million kilometers during the two-year installation (2008 – 2010) — often navigating unpaved roads affected by heavy rains, snow, and freezing temperatures — from sea level to altitudes as high as 4,900 meters. Despite these challenges, with very careful attention to vehicular safety, incidents during the entire installation averaged 2.82 per 1,000,000 kilometers driven, exceeding the program’s target of 7.53; and, in 2012, there were no road accidents related to the pipeline work at all.

Much of the project’s success was due to ongoing evaluation and adaptation, as each incident was studied and underlying causes determined.  Other elements contributing to the success of the program included:

  • Instituting a company safety accountability framework to support the safety program
  • Implementing a system of management controls, including:
    • Road risk maps highlighting potential hazards such as heavy pedestrian traffic, winding roads, and open trenches were developed and updated regularly. Drivers were instructed on how to use these, and electronic versions were synced with the vehicle’s GPS.
    • Speed controls were initiated, such as posted signage, vehicular GPS recording, and use of real-time speed radar guns by road supervisors.
    • Drivers were regularly monitored for blood alcohol levels (with a zero tolerance standard) and for signs of altitude impairment. Some of the monitoring for speed and driver condition took place at five strategically located checkpoints along the route. Vehicles and loads were also inspected, and driver services were provided.
  • Working with the community to raise awareness of safe driving practices.
  • Focusing on improving the health and safety of drivers. For example, drivers were educated on appropriate nutrition and water intake for high-altitude driving.
  • Holding third-party contractors to the same standards, with this requirement included in the procurement bidding process.
  • Providing incentives for deliveries without incident.

Notes:

  1. Summary of International Finance Corporation (IFC), “Lessons of Experience: Peru LNG: A Focus on Continuous Improvement” (No. 3, March 2013).
  2. IFC, p. 4.